Three Ways to Turn Your Vision Into Reality
Updated: Jul 28, 2020
How do you know you're on the right track? Once you have a vision for the future, you need to know how to bring it to life.
Sometimes we’re lucky and there’s a set plan in place ready made to help us achieve goals - whether that’s personalised recipes and dedicated workouts a la the Body Coach 90 Day Plan, or ordering furniture from Wayfair that arrives in helpfully numbered boxes filled with all the tools you need.
Sadly, when it comes to our professional aspirations, most of the time we have to create our own route to get there - and this can be tough. To help get you started, here are three ways that have worked for my clients and I to map out how to bring a desirable vision for the future to life.
1. Take a Step Back
This picks up from where we left off in crafting your vision. Essentially, you want to be as clear as you possibly can about where you want to be and work back to where you are now.
Let’s use giving a TED Talk as an example. Picture the moment you’ve finished your speech and you hear the audience’s rapturous applause (hell, make it a standing ovation if you want - it’s your dream!).
When you’re there, ask yourself the question: What happened just before that moment?’
Did you pose a question, offer a call to action or sum up with a compelling statistic? Whilst I’m sharing examples to illustrate the point, it’s important to remember that there are no right answers here. simply what comes up for you with your specific dream.
Take a step before that. What happened before you came on stage? Were you taking a deep breath, thinking of three words that capture how you want to come across before you start to speak? Keep going further back, one step at a time.
The beauty of doing this in reverse is that you know that you’ve gotten to your destination. You know that you have arrived at the finish point of your goal, and it’s all about working out how you got there, from a place of success. Reverse engineer the process and keep asking that question until you get to where you are now.
You might want to do this as a physical timeline; finding a spot in the room you’re in which resonates with the future vision you are imagining. Stand there and visualise achieving your goal as if you are there now, then take an actual step back at each stage.
This works particularly well if you have someone else to help guide you through, asking questions if you feeling stuck or need to go deeper, but is certainly something you can experiment with by yourself.
2. Spot the Difference
This more conventional route involves being crystal clear about where you are now. In the same way that you took the time to paint the picture of what the future looks like, how you experience it from all your different senses and what this means from the perspective of different stakeholders - what does your situation look like now?
Say you started by asking, ‘What do I want next in my career?’. Think about your career as it is now:
What experience do you have?
What projects have you worked on?
Who do you work with?
What responsibilities do you have?
What budget do you look after?
The aim is to paint an equally crisp picture of where you are at this moment and contrast it with your desired future state. Then, it’s time to play spot-the-difference and identify the gaps between the two. Once you’ve done that, you can brainstorm options for how you can close the distance.
For example - say you want to lead a team of people and are currently only managing yourself. Ask yourself:
’What skills do I need to be successful at leading others?’
‘How could I gain these skills?’
‘What are some ways I can get more experience here?’
Your answers might include mentoring, looking after an Industrial Placement student or leading a project where you need to delegate work to different individuals and follow up with them on what they’ve delivered.
The point is to come up with a bucketload of ideas and possibilities that you can then choose from and decide what could work for you. As you’re doing this, you might realise that some things need to happen in a certain order - there might be dependencies in place before you can reach some options. A brain dump that you then re-order is absolutely fine. We’re looking at milestones, major pieces of activity and then fleshing out the key things you can be doing from there.
3. A Daily Step Forward
My third and final approach is less 'strategic', less traditional but very action oriented. It’s the simplest (not necessarily easiest) approach and definitely keeps the end in mind.
Once again, we’re starting where you are now.
Ask yourself, every day, ‘What’s one step I can take, that will bring me closer to my goal?”
Then do it.
It’s very important to not just stay in your head here and actually take action.
If you do this on a daily basis, it helps you keep learning from doing. You can get out of your own way instead of worrying about what you ‘should’ be doing, or what the master plan is and all the drama that can come along with not meeting your own expectations.
It means you actually take incremental steps forward. And those daily, small steps add up. Over the course of a year, you’ll be 365 steps closer to that than you would have otherwise been.
It gives you the chance to celebrate regularly on your journey, deal with stumbling blocks as they comes along and not get overwhelmed or delayed in creating a beautiful strategic road map that may need to shift course considerably as you go along.
There is no right or wrong way in doing this, but hopefully these three ways will allow you to experiment and start taking that beautiful dream that you’ve created and bring it to life.
If you’d like to go into any of this in more detail for your own situation then book in a 60 minute discovery consult here and pick a time to talk that works for you.